There’s an odd little story going on in New Hampshire. (It even made Good Morning America.) An expectant mother had her water break, and her husband kinda hit the panic button. They got into their car and tore off for the hospital — breaking the speed limit. A state trooper spotted them on the road and hit the lights, Daddy called 9/11 and explained, and the trooper escorted them to the hospital, where Mom delivered a healthy baby boy.
And after congratulating the couple, the trooper gave Daddy a ticket for speeding.
My first thought was “what a jerk.” It was an emergency, the trooper should have shown a bit more compassion and common sense. Plus, the baby was delivered six minutes after they got to the hospital, so time really was of the essence. Toss this case out, dammit!
But then I heard a few more details. And I’m siding with the trooper.
First up, Daddy wasn’t just speeding. He was SPEEDING. He had his Kia into triple digits, and the trooper said he had to hit 114 MPH just to catch up and pass Daddy. He took one corner that I know very well at about 84 MPH — not a good move. It was also at 3:30 in the morning, so while visibility was lousy, the traffic was pretty much nonexistent, so that’s a wash.
Next, Daddy was driving like hell while on the phone to the 9/11 operator. That’s even more scary and dangerous.
Finally, I know that area pretty well — I lived there for about 15 years. Daddy didn’t head for the nearest hospital — there’s one in Londonderry. He didn’t head for the nearest big hospital — there are two good-sized ones in Manchester. No, his hospital of choice was #3 in distance.
Daddy ain’t a hardened criminal — he was a guy who panicked. His intentions were the best, but he put himself, his wife, his soon-to-be-born son, and anyone else on the road at that hour in danger. Tremendous danger. He earned his ticket, and it ought to stand.
But I’d favor the judge reducing it, or hitting him with the minimum — accompanied by a very stern lecture. And Daddy should accept it with grace.
Which, I suspect, is how it will play out. I have faith in my fellow New Hampshirites.